MSM’s Excellence Inspires Donor’s Gift: Saul Raw
By John K. Blanchard, March 2021
Saul Raw has worked in the social work and psychotherapy fields for 50 years. His early appointments were at the South Beach Psychiatric Center, Manhattan Psychiatric Center, New York Presbyterian Hospital and Cornell University’s Weill Medical College. After 35 years, he left Weill as Clinical Assistant Professor in Social Work and Psychiatry and now maintains a private practice based in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn. His eclectic approach to psychotherapy—related to anxiety, depression, mood disorders and relationship issues—“adapts treatment to the patient, not the other way around.”
A native New Yorker, the varied types of performances afforded him in the city were lifelong influences, as was the presence of music at home in his youth. His mother attended the Institute of Musical Art, whose building is now part of the Manhattan School of Music campus, and Saul tried violin, piano and saxophone as a child. The folk music scene of the 1960s caught his greatest attention: He took up the 5-string banjo, sought out lessons with Roger Sprung and learned new material by ear. He would frequently get together with other musicians in Washington Square Park.
It would be an interest in opera, however, that would bring Saul into the MSM community. His initial exposure to the genre was at the home of his aunt and uncle, where he would invariably find the Metropolitan Opera Saturday broadcasts turned up at full volume. In 2014, he read about a student production of the little-known Haydn opera Orlando Paladino being staged in Morningside Heights, a neighborhood with which Saul was already very familiar. The Sunday matinee also appealed to him because of his work schedule. Soon he was making his way to Broadway and 122nd Street for an experience that would lead to an enriched life, giving MSM a valued partner.
Since that first MSM performance, Saul has been back many times, often bringing along out-of-town guests and family members. “Over and over, what we saw was beyond extraordinary and the level of talent just blew me away,” he explains. “I also greatly enjoy Pisticci, the Italian trattoria on La Salle Street, conveniently near the School.” Saul is a confessed Francophile—enjoying many things French and speaking the language fluently—and fondly remembers the MSM presentations of Ibert’s Persée et Andromède, Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges and Isouard’s Cendrillon.
Deciding that the School was an institution worthy of his further support, Saul became a donor. In the fall of 2019, he was invited to attend “A Day in the Life,” an event organized by the Office of Advancement where he was able to attend a master class, a class in movement for singers and a rehearsal, as well as interact with students over lunch. “It was a peak experience for me,” he recounts. “When my wife and I were recently updating our estate planning, we felt more welcomed and invited at Manhattan School of Music than some other institutions, and decided to become members of the legacy society.”
The Raws’ planned gift of a percentage of their estate is a generous example of their belief in MSM’s mission and a show of appreciation for the hours of enjoyment had in our concert halls.
You can impact the future of Manhattan School of Music, too, when you include a gift to us in your will or other estate plan. Contact Susan Madden at 917-493-4115 or email@example.com to learn more about how to create a legacy that meets your financial needs and charitable goals.
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